Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Services (MCFRS) has responded to several significant fires, including some in which people died, where there were no working smoke alarms present. After many of these fires, MCFRS personnel have gone door to door in the impacted neighborhood offering to check smoke alarms and provide safety information. During the door to door effort firefighters are finding an "alarming" number of non-working smoke alarms. To ensure the safety of those residents, MCFRS immediately install a new smoke alarm and/or battery.
MCFRS reminds residents to make sure your home has working smoke alarms and urges residents to test smoke alarms now.
Below are ten tips on smoke alarms, from the US Fire Administration. Follow these 10 easy tips on smoke alarms:
1) One of the best ways to protect yourself and your family is to have a working smoke alarm that can sound fast for both a fire that has flames, and a smoky fire that has fumes without flames. It is called a "Dual Sensor Smoke Alarm." 2) Place a smoke alarm on the ceiling of every level of your home and both inside and outside bedrooms. Children and older people can sleep though the loud sound of a smoke alarm. Make sure your escape plan includes someone that can help children and others wake up immediately to escape from the home. 3) If you keep your bedroom doors closed, place a smoke alarm on the ceiling of each bedroom. 4) Check smoke alarms monthly by pressing the test button. 5) Never take smoke alarm batteries out to put into other items like games or remote controls. 6) Teach children what the smoke alarm sounds like and what to do when they hear the alarm sound. 7) If there is a fire, leave the home right away by crawling low under the smoke and never go back inside. 8) If smoke from cooking makes the alarm sound, press the "hush" button, if your alarm has one. You can also turn on the kitchen fan, open a window or wave a towel near the alarm until it stops making the sound. Never take the battery out of the alarm. 9) Most alarms need a new battery at least once a year. Some smoke alarms have batteries that last for up to 10 years. If your smoke alarm is over 10 years old, replace it with a new alarm and a new battery. 10) If you rent, talk to your landlord about placing a working smoke alarm in your home. You still need to buy a new battery at least once a year for the alarm.